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Mother of Pearl has long been sought after thanks to it's shimmering, almost ethereal, finish of flashing and vibrant colours. It has bee a staple in jewellery, architecture and in instrument making for centuries. These sheets are made from small strips of the nacreous layer of the inside of oyster shells and then assembled and colour matched into larger sheets held together by epoxy.
The mother of pearl sheets are very thinly cut, making them more cost effective to buy than the thicker cuts used for inlays. The veneer is perfect for use alongside gilding, particularly reverse glass gilding or sign gilding, to act striking flair to a piece.
The material is translucent and the appearance of colour will vary based on the colours underneath the sheet. A dark or black backing with show the full appearance of the mother of pearl. Using a differently coloured surface or even a metallic one, such as gold, will give a different effect.
The nature of this material means that the colours and appearance of the iridescence on the surface vary wildly depending on lighting and angle of viewing. We have examples of a range of different backgrounds and lighting in our images for this product but the combinations are nearly limitless, there's no way we could photograph them all! When buying this sheets it is very important to bear this in mind and to create test pieces before proceeding with any project.
The Mother of Pearl is supplied in sheets of about .6 - .8 mm thickness that have been coated but they will need a layer of colour and protection over the back of the sheet for best effect.